Ed Note. One comment we received was about our Madera coverage was on why we didn’t cover more of the lower categories. Defensively, i stated my normal position, which is “I only care about the elite races so that’s what i write about, if somebody else wants to offer their input on lower category races I would love to publish it.” The commentator bravely took up the challenge. Generally when we publish submissions the more fact based the better. This piece was more “prose” than facts, and after editing for a few hours, and only getting halfway, i realized it was better in raw form with my own notes, commentary, and translations inserted inline. I hope Rome, who i think is the submitter, can forgive me and will submit more reports after this. One friend compared it to a drunk Bob Roll, which i think is great benchmark for the start to one’s blogging career. My comments, obviously, in bold.
The Power & the Glory- Chivalry, Mayhem Upon the Posideon
[I can see the chilvary part but i really don’t get the Posideon reference. Unless it’s a reference to the disaster movie with Ernest Borgnine and Gene Hackman. I LOVE THAT MOVIE!]
As a young band of Master’s level pioneering bike racers who’ve left their nest from SoCal to establish a foothold here in NorCal, Major Motion slowly comes into itself with the power tools ranging from hill climber, sprinter to all-arounder.
[Shoulda stayed in socal… sorry just couldn’t resist. Also, I think “young” & “masters” is an oxymoron unless your riding 30+.]
Madera Stage Race being the first for all of us to embark upon, we had an arsenal of sorts to be contenders in a seemingly epic weekend of racing.
That said, departing the Bay Friday afternoon was the best thing we could have ever done to run reconeissance with our limited knowledge of the TT course, its overall condition, wind direction and elevations. Can you say the jagged edge? Or perhaps the Jericho mile? As upon our arrival and dismount there were just a handful of other do-gooders with the same intent (friend and racer for Ritte, Dan Green for starters) and a few good gents from VOS and Taleo. As we purveyed the course its marketable potholes, crests, patches, gravel, pinners, molded rifts and other colorful array of adjectives painting the course dark with a trilogy of gripping horror stories, my handlebars and TT bars began to jangle in harmony with my teamates sliding seatpost, who now with a side glimpse rode low-rider style (mi-vida-loca) upon the dry valley of the bones.
[I’m starting to think there is an oblique movie theme to this post that most people under 35 will miss. I FUCKING LOVE THE JERICHO MILE. That reference made me go back and watch some of the movie, which i hadn’t seen in eons. life lessons from the Jericho Mile.
- Hernando should wear cut off jeans when he races
- Anybody making fun of rands hair has obviously not seen how it looks when he runs
- Prison ain’t so bad. I could do a nickel standing on my head
- Fuck the olympics. Prison is where it’s at. (Remember that Mega!)
Making our way to check in at the Super 8 we re-hashed all of the courses variances, short-comings and possibilities. But little did we know, the Road Race course would make the TT course ride like glass in comparison. Thoughts of grandiuere ran rampant, thank God it was only for a moment. [SUPER 8’s RULE!]
With great food directly across the street at “Cool Hand Luke’s Bar & Grill Resturant” we settled in with on site mechanic and all-arounder, teamate Eric Downing, who shored up all loose ends (literally and figuratively) with a lil asisstance from the mechanic from Optum (who were surprisingly also on an “economy stay plan” provided us with additional carbon paste since our little place in the world known as Madera, such products would be next to impossible to find. The gods of cycling to the rescue! [Eric sounds cool, as does the mechanic from Optum. Dig up his name and give him a shout out for being fucking rad to a bunch of NorCal degenerates.]
The Morning After Pill
[This headline makes NO sense once you read what follows, just telling you that now cause it makes it funnier]
Comraderie and fellowship with comical rants on “who’s who” in our little part of the world carried over to the morning along with gastronomical fireworks and lumber jack jubilee in our small confines, yet we were happy and ready to meet all at the line. Tum’s , oatmeal and starbucks magically seemed to rid us all of our ills and nightly imperfections (I digress). We were revitalized and made whole. This motley crew was game for the reckoning and although I’ve never been aboard a vessel of jolly men out at sea- this seemingly came damn close). Long live old racers, cunning wit and new labeled beers? [I’m not big on fart humor but the masses (read plebes) seem to like it, so keep it. The pirate reference to “vessel of jolly men out at sea” just seems misplaced. I’d go with emphasis rather than question for your close “Long live old racers, cunning wit and new labeled beers!” It sounds stronger.]
[Can you believe we haven’t even done one stage yet?]
Set and near ready to meet at the line the “Falcon” was the last to arrive yet better late than never sealed the deal on our plan without deserting it entirely too much or running loosely tabulated audibles as a last ditch effort to make the score. [Falcon’s a great name. For a famous italian giro winner! Rename him now. Maybe something like… Vulture, or Hawk Guy.]
Hungry-like-the-wolf, racers rushed to the line, eager, pokered game faces with more light-hearted laughter coming from the lines that followed behind, the field meager in number was laced with a formidable number of Taleo racers, VoS was in the house, Central Sierra/Rubber Soul, Folsom Bikes, Colavita to name a few and one peculiar member from the “Red Peleton” a race team I knew so well from last season with incessant fire power I knew not to take for granted.
The whistle blew and we were off. The Mo-Mo (Major Motion) made the inital effort at controlling the front for the first few laps, then two riders from Oakland’s local 55 firefighters, Taleo and so on exchanging leads became quite the order of the first half of the race with the bigger teams seemingly and eventually finding refuge in the pack thus allowing solo individuals and “the unattached” thereof, to take a pull while the likes of Taleo, MoMo and one strong Bull from Rio Strada recover for another go. Both preme’s were readily snatched by teamate Nate Smith, “the Jackal” as his sprint left no room for adversaries to have any leanings. It was take all or nothing. Few dangled off the front but reeled in summarily as we all would learn later that many of the TT performances were stellar among this Master’s level group. There was no rest for the weary or the wicked in this first stage of sportif cyclery. [The one liner version of this would read “The race started and while the bigger teams attacked it quickly became apparent that nothing would stick, and the peloton was content to settle in for the sprint.” Add in one more line about the most futile repeated attacker so he gets a nice shout out.]
However, as most often we forget, the element of surprise always seemingly and unvariably gets the early worm in the throws of testosterone laidened machinery with pressed carbon enhanced by bright prickly colors of lycra wrapped in Old Spice, we re-enter with 4 to go hyper- vigilance and deliberate intent we counter and neutralize the larger among the field knowingly or unknowingly, disarming the motive to will their way to succession, reaching into the vault within the arsenal, the “stealth assassin” strings out the field like a merry-go-round as we with full volition open up the throttle to set up for the final sprint. [This sentence is crazy man talk. Still… if you read it like you are imitating a very serious poet reading e.e. cummings it sounds pretty awesome.]
Winding over the top of the gear just short of turn 4 I give the node and drop down 2 gears to give my teamate who’s on my wheel ‘the call of the wild’ as we bunny-hop the train tracks- catching air and going for roughly an 800 meter sprint hearing chaos behind me I dare not bobble head to look as only one racer I could feel nearby, seeing with a mere glance it was him, Patrick Krueger from Red Peleton- keeping me in his sights all along I pushed harder crossing the line first with Red Peleton’s Patrick Krueger taking second, SJBC’s David Maminski third and Major Motion’s Nathan Smith for fourth and Peter Brisbo for fifth place respectively. A near sweep looking back, we dare to take up the challenge again next year. Same bat time same bat channel. [Talk about burying the lead! Three paragraphs on the crit and i find out the last two lines you won? I really wish you had put your name in the email!]
The Time Trial
[Rule of headlines if you are going with crazy headlines make sure you do it every time}
Northwest winds predictor stated earlier in the morning that it would be 68 degrees with 7 mph winds. Well, contrary to our trusting newscast, (as usual), following turn 2 of the pre-roubaix-faux course of flatted wheelie’s and jingle parts-(soft-flex frames, wheels and carbon seatposts not recommended), being shelled in the latter -half of the day brought rider times down increasingly as the afternoon sun moved on. Man’s race against the clock had altering effects to team tactics as Tim Peterson from Local 55 Oakland fire takes the winning time at 23:27 and Richard Coyle from Rio Strada capturing the second spot with only a 20 second gap of 23:47. The deed was done. [A union boy wins eh? Suck on that Romney/Santorum!}
Unofficial data provided on site compared to the final spread posted marked dramatic differences in empirical numbers backed by obstinent opinions. Nothing short of the truth I presume? Hey, its okay that all of us are not using high-pollutant techy devices yet. Besides, its only a bunch of fun -loving cycling dudes and dudettes that ride really really fast in circles. [Use smaller words. I’m sort of dump and don’t like to read a lot. Basically you could use a variation of every facebook post from Madera, “Velopromo fucked up my TT time.” What ever… no big deal. Happens every year, at every stage race.]
With NorCal Major Motion in the throws of it we were able to secure one of our own riders, Eric Downing who was in the top 10 for contention for the stage win with a time at 24:59 being a minute 30 seconds behind the leader Tim Peterson. That said, we knew we were in the runnings for the overall GC and needed to secure a solid plan on the Road Race. [I alread like Eric. Now i’m rooting for him!]
Off we went following the TT to hit up our spot, as they had “a real cool hand” at cooking good food as we salibated over our winning the Criterium. Again, a young bastion of master’s level brutes wheel-worthy to make it at the very best of what we think we know but love and cherish. [Is salibate like intubate but with food?]
The Road Race
[Damn you for no crazy headline. How about… The Road (Race) Less Traveled]
If you’ve ever read the book, “when things fall apart”, you’ll know truly what it means to go down with the ship among the Posideon. I kid you not, I think I will have a real sitdown with the news ancor next time I’m down in that part of the central valley? The winds went from a forecasted 7 mph high for the day to 22-25 mph on the long false flat afront the course that forced everyone to huddle so close together that Joey’s hair conditioner still lingers, and classic winsong commercials take over the airwaves-oh such a personal and intimate experience indeed. [Dude.. the Poisidon went DOWN! Or do you mean the greek god? This is a confusing reference. Anyhow, P-dawg would slap you silly for complaining about winds in the Central Valley. That’s all that got. That and some orange groves.]
Trampling across the first lap along the back side of the roubaix of floundering water bottles and girggly conversation, it only became more apt to not biting your tongue or chattering the porcelean off your teeth as we entered and road deep within the belly of the beast and its tire daggers that lay it its wait for some unsuspecting fodder to pass over. In my minds’ eye I was happy to have made it over withut puncture to tire or skin-staying upright we carried on. Exiting what seemed to be 8-10 miles rather than the very pronounced 3 miles of trothed asphalt, we all look up as though never seen before, a long hill misnomered hill spoken by some wanker as a mere roller, we began our high cadence journey. Gassed, many including myself begin an all too familiar OTB after the second roller. I had summarily picked the hill I was going to die on. I journeyed still crawling, gnashing of teeth, mirages out in the distance I along with one other fought to not surrender but to finish the race. Along the carnaged highway lay others who had just given up on their Posideon adventure, from a variety of categories we became just short of “touring” riders knowing we still had firepower in the field. [I’m reading this as, “No idea what happened during the race cause i got dropped second time up that little hill. But, i didn’t quit cause i gave Velopromo good money and i want to get a freaking result in one of these stupid stage races. This flat shit show is my best shot!]
Final lap we cross the feed zone and I notice another teamate of mine who has the heart of a lion and the legs of Thor handing me a bottle as I ride by. No time to waste I thought as I pedal on, but little did I know, he was burrled into the asphalt by a rider twice his size busting up his lower back and further adding insult to injury, his bike broken in half at the top tube. Oh how we love thee, this sportif world of cyclery. [Thor doesn’t hand out water bottles. Thor throws them at your head and calls you a pansie. Just sayin… ]
After a shattering effect on the once field of 31 riders down from an initial 39 that started on Saturday, G Boyd Tarin of Taleo Cycling takes the win with Scott Hollander of Central Sierra/ Rubber Soul coming in hot for second place.
The General Classification was now complete with Tim Peterson from local 55 Oakland Fire taking the #1 slot and remember that guy on my heels in the crit the day before who came in second behind me? Yeah Patrick Kreuger, Red Peleton came finished 2nd in the GC for the 45+ 4/5. Overall, an awesome display of talent across the board. It is clear that each race plays well into the strengths and weaknesses of all participants, with few anomallies that can get it right through all all aspects of the stage race. [Again with the lead buried… i had no idea what race this was until i got the the 45+ 4/5. You should do some foreshadowing with peterson in the crit. He sounds sneaky. I bet he has shifty eyes. Insert photo of shifty eyes here.]
Our plan was foiled maybe even from the start, but we re-group to meet Madera again next year. I can only hope with renewed and cohesive planning, fitness and a will to push on, that we can take not one but several wins home next year. It was a great first experience for all of us despite it all, taking our losses with our wins, we relish in the idea of clean competetive racing. Long live Norcal’s cycling community and to a spirited Major Motion. [Cat 4’s do not have plans, much less plans that get foiled. Only Wily Coyote and Daffy Duck have plans that get foiled. Next year you should all dress up for the race like it’s the Bay to Breakers. You could totally do a Bugs Bunny/Road Runner theme that might work into the whole Madera landscape thing.]
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